NEW YORK (
) -- If
(AAPL - Get Report)
is serious about rapidly expanding its revenue stream from software and services, expanding iTunes Radio is a good place to start.
According to a report in
, Apple is looking to expand iTunes Radio, which it unveiled as part of iOS 7 in June to English-speaking countries outside the U.S. by early next year. The report mentions iTunes Radio, which had 11 million unique listeners when Apple
opening weekend sales for the new iPhone 5s/5c, will be coming to the U.K., Canada, New Zealand and Australia by early next year.
Apple, which is slated to report fiscal fourth-quarter results Oct. 28, has seen its revenue from software and services grow at a healthy rate. In Apple's
report, revenue from iTunes software and services grew at a 25% year-over-year clip to $3.99 billion.
The iTunes platform has become a
for Apple. It now holds more than 500 million credit cards and valuable personal information -- consumer habits, preferences -- through the software.
The iTunes Radio streaming service generates revenue from advertisements. So far, the service has signed up such blue-chip advertisers as
Procter & Gamble
. The upcoming quarter will be the first time iTunes Radio affects Apple revenue, despite having been announced in June. Apple's new mobile operating system, iOS 7, became available for public download as of Sept. 18.
Internet radio industry leader
(P - Get Report)
does not operate in the U.K. or Canada, though it does offer its services in Australia. As of the end of September, Pandora noted it had 72.7 million active listeners, an increase of 25% year over year. Many
industry watchers are speculating
about whether it will be able to continue to grow marketshare in a more competitive environment where
Apple's iTunes Radio is the most potent threat
There have been over 700 million iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod) sold, according to CEO Tim Cook at Apple's recent iPhone announcement, suggesting that the potential for iTunes Radio is vastly greater than what is being seen now.
Last week, Eddy Cue, the Apple senior vice president in charge of iTunes, told the
he wants to bring the streaming music service, which also allows you to purchase music from iTunes to more than 100 countries. In addition to moving on to other English-speaking countries,
noted Nordic countries are also being targeted.
Shares of Apple were higher in pre-market trading, gaining 0.33% to $489.38.
Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York